For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.

One of the key questions at this year’s Central Diocesan Clergy Retreat was about the import of our faith in Jesus. Does believing in and following Jesus matter one bit beyond the couple of hours we spend at church each week?

This is an important question for us, both as clergy and as the entirety of God’s people. We should be doing this self check each day – and I highly recommend it.

Another consideration offered by our retreat leader, Bishop Richard Lipka, is does our faith matter to anyone else. He put it very realistically: Does Governor so-and-so or President so-and-so ever pause one minute during their decision making process to consider what God says, what Scripture speaks, or what the people of God proclaim? Of course not. We find ourselves faced with a world that wants us to give up hope, to just surrender. God says differently. A couple of practical examples.

One person I met this summer explained the many challenges they are facing – health, financial, and most importantly whether God really cares. Does my faith make any difference in my life? Is there reason for hope? As we spoke they reflected on all the people who are helping (generally people of faith) and how thankful they are. My response: You answered your own question. Those around you are sent by God, are a portion of the hope God offers. Yes, you have reason for hope.

A young person I encountered commented on how hopeless the world is, how it is a place where the loneliness of hopelessness predominates. That young person encountered people of faith and was transformed – both to faith in Jesus and to an attitude of hope.

Believing in and following Jesus matters greatly. It is transformative in individual lives and in the world. We offer something the world cannot offer – hope that is more powerful than anything we may face. We have been born of God Who overcame for us. We have victory and overcome hopelessness in Him. Praise Him and share the hope.


Welcome to September and all of the incredible blessings being poured out on our community of faith. God Is Good!!!

On September 11th we welcome the Solemnity of Brotherly Love – the foundation of our relationship with each other as citizens of the Kingdom. September 18th we celebrate Back To Church Sunday with the theme “HOPE HAPPENS HERE.” All are welcome in the Kingdom. Invite someone, or just show up, find those blessings we all so need. We celebrate First Communion on the 18th as well. So proud of our young people and their commitment to the faith. September’s Newsletter also provides a report on all the fantastic events we took part in throughout the summer. We start our Christmas Vigil Raffle with a chance to win $2,500. Get your tickets now. We engage in prayer for the upcoming XXVI Holy Synod of the Church – everyones’ prayer help is needed! We solemnly mark the 21st Anniversary of 9/11/2001.

Check out Music Scholarships, Daily Holy Mass, Check our Worship Schedule, our September Discipleship message, and we begin a new series of devotions to the Infant of Prague in the Polish Language.

Zapraszamy wszystkich Polaków – Koronka do Praskiego Dzieciątka Jezus w Waszych intencjach w każdy wtorek o godz. 12:30 po południu.

Check it all out in our September 2022 Newsletter.

Prayer answered? Yes!

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.. If you then … know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

I am so thankful that we have joined together in worship this Sunday as we once again celebrate the confidence we have in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We can have confidence in the following things: Take the risks Jesus prompts us to venture and all turns out well. Know that Jesus is constantly seeking and looking for us, so we are safe in Him. Take up and accept Jesus’ call to service and learning from the word with great care and God’s promise will be alive in us.

Today we explore confidence in prayer; the fact that God responds to prayer and sees to our need.

How do you imagine prayer working, the mechanics of prayer? 

In today’s reading from Genesis, we see Abraham once again with God. This is a sort of part two after last week’s encounter between God and Abraham. Remember that God had promised a child to Abraham and Sarah. Now God was traveling on to Sodom and Gomor’rah to destroy them. Abraham pleads with the Lord over and over (as Jesus would say, knocking and pleading) because his nephew Lot and his family lived there.

This plea by Abraham, that Sodom and Gomor’rah be spared if any righteous people are found there, goes on and on, a sort of countdown of the righteous from fifty to ten. In the end not even ten are found, only four, and if you go on reading in Genesis Chapters 18 and 19 you will see that Lot and his family were barely righteous.

All of this makes prayer seem rather linear and time constrained, God hearing one man’s prayer over a series of hours. Seeing that, how could God possibly have time for my little prayers in the face of so many others?

Prayer does not work that way. This is because God is eternally present and not time bound. God is outside and beyond time, so our prayers are always in the present. Even if all the people of the world were to pray at once, each would be before God in His ever present now.

When we pray, we must always do so in confidence. Ask and receive – and be sure of this – what we receive is the gift of the Spirit alive in us: “the Father in heaven [will] give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” God responds to prayer and sees to our need by the Spirit’s presence in and with us. With God’s presence, the power of the Holy Spirit, we have power and can face all with courage, confidence, and trust.

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Summer is here and it is time for all kinds of great activities: swimming, visits to parks, camping, trips away, grilling, and tending to flowers and vegetable plants.

Did you ever get in one of those situations where that summer activity gets slightly curtailed because you forgot something? You have the charcoal but forgot the matches. You want to dig out the soil around those plants but can’t find your gardening shovel, oh – and you forgot the sunscreen. In those types of situations we often run across a good samaritan, a neighbor, friend, the person on the towel next to you at the shore, even just a passer-by who notices the situation (and frustration) and offers to help. Take my matches, borrow my shovel, here’s some sunscreen…

St. Paul was addressing the Elders of the Church in Ephesus. He was planning his leaving for Jerusalem and the persecutions that lay ahead (See Acts 20 starting at verse 17). He tells them the things they will face and implores them to be strong. He gives thanks for those who saw to his needs saying Jesus’ words: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Faith is somewhat like our summer adventures. We all start from a place of borrowing. We borrow from and imitate our families and community. As we progress in our lives our faith becomes our own, becomes solid, we own it and take responsibility for it. We are ready for action and are living faithfully day-to-day. Occasionally though we need help, we’ve forgotten something or left something behind. We need to borrow from friends, mentors, family, the passer-by. We need help filling in the gaps in our journey toward Jesus. The key here, as Paul told the Elders, is to: be alert. We must not live on a faith that is merely borrowed or imitated, it must be our own. We need to invest the time to grow in it. We continually prepare ourselves and are alert for gaps. Let us be open to receiving help and also be willing to lend help, and be blessed.


July already and the calendar just continues to fill-up. We are so thankful for all who are partaking of, or will partake in, the Church’s and our parish’s summer events. Our newsletter highlights all of these activities. Come in for weekly liturgy this summer still at 10am and Noon on Sundays. Stay for a brief repast, and share in the salvation and fellowship of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We have a report on the Men’s Retreat, are planning for the XXVI Holy Synod of our Church, are welcoming people to a summer church music learning session, and welcome a newly baptized member of the parish. Fr. Jim shares his reading list. We pray for our country and give thanks.

All that and more in our July/August 2022 Newsletter.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

At the start of the month we are nearly five full weeks into the Lenten season. On April 3rd we enter into Passiontide, the last two weeks of Lent, a time marked by the somberness of veiled statues and candles and deep reflection on the Passion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So I ask, are you somber?

I know, from my own experience, that there have been years in which a deep somberness would overcome me by Passiontide since I had done nothing to reform my life. I did not engage in more diligent prayer, fasting, worship, or giving. I was not turning from my sins, nor did I change direction. I had great intentions at the beginning, on Ash Wednesday, but did not take any concrete steps. I would feel that, well, it is too late now… In other years I would start off wonderfully and then get stuck and would start going backward. So the question many somber people ask: Am I too late?

The scripture above from Jeremiah 29:13 says no. God’s infinite mercy says no. The very fact that we feel a somberness in ourselves is proof of God’s acting on us to change, turn away from sin, and go in His way. Is it easy to change, to yank the sinfulness out of ourselves, and to walk more closely with Jesus? No, it does take work – but turning with our whole heart has the full support and assistance of the Holy Spirit, our Guardian Angel, and the whole Church. So we must not despair nor be somber. We must start now. What makes a difference is setting aside the idea of intention. ‘I intend to’ is no more than words. We have to act. The Prophet Joel told us on Ash Wednesday: rend your hearts and not your clothing. That statement means we cannot just stand on the intention of change and return without ever doing anything. Intention is no better than tearing our clothes, an outward appearance. Rather, even today, we can actually change our hearts, our whole self, and find God waiting to embrace us. Seek wholeheartedly and find Him.


Welcome to our April 2022 Newsletter. At the start of April we enter Passiontide, then Holy Week, and finally arrive at Easter. We have tons of opportunities to finish Lent well with daily Holy Mass, Stations of the Cross, Bitter Lamentations / Gorzkie Żale, and our directed giving program. We invite you to join us for all things Holy Week and Easter. During the Easter Season we will also hold a welcome back/renewal day. Beyond all that, read about our engagement to help Ukrainian refugees.

There’s more to check out as well: We have blessed Polish Easter Baskets for sale (a portion of the proceed will be donated to Ukranian relief efforts), our amazing Basket Social is April 24th at the South Schenectady Firehouse, we are planning for the wonderful activites coming up Churchwide, and now is the time to apply for music scholarships.

All this and more in our April 2022 Newsletter.

As part of the Polish National Catholic Church’s efforts to support the Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees, we first and foremost encourage prayer for the people of Ukraine and for peace in the world. We ask prayers especially for the wounded, the dying, and all the victims of this horrible war, as well as for the Ukrainians seeking to defend their liberty and freedom. 

We are also taking up a collection to provided needed supplies and housing. These funds will be sent to our sister Church, the Polish Catholic Church (Kościół Polskokatolicki) which has been giving support and caring for Ukrainian refugees that have come across the border into Poland. A number of parishes in the southern portion of Poland have been providing relief to refugees as well as delivering aid to the border.

You may send a check made out to Holy Name of Jesus noted as “Ukrainian Assistance.” Our address is 1040 Pearl St., Schenectady, NY 12303, You may also use the form below to donate via credit card.

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Please join us throughout Lent for Holy Mass and Devotions. These are all opportunities, beyond Sundays, to focus time on prayer.

  • Ash Wednesday – Holy Mass and Distribution of Ashes at Noon and 7pm.
  • Lenten Sundays – Holy Mass at 10am and Noon every Sunday.
  • Daily Holy Mass, Monday through Friday at Noon.
  • Stations of the Cross every Friday at 3pm.
  • Bitter Lamentations / Gorzkie Żale every Sunday at 3pm.

And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day.

What happens when we die?

It is one of the greatest questions of all time and inquiring minds want to know: What should we expect after we die? What will it look like? Yet, it is exceedingly difficult to answer. No one has come back and filled us in. But we do have guideposts to inform us.

We do know that there are absolutes, heaven and hell. Scriptures tell us that much. We know heaven is paradise and that it is reserved for the holy ones of God. Revelation gives us a picture of what heaven will look like, a place with no more mourning, weeping, pain or fear. Jesus also gave us examples of what Gehenna will be like, a fiery garbage dump where those who lived lives apart from God wail and gnash their teeth. We know from the story of Lazarus the beggar that there is an uncrossable boundary between heaven and hell. Those things give us a fruitful heads-up, a forewarning that no – everyone does not just go to heaven. To say so is in fact heresy.

We know our path starts with faith, faith in Jesus Christ. We need to confess our sins and give ourselves completely to Him. Through baptism and our cognizant profession of faith we are members in His body, and we are washed in His blood. From there, we embark on the path of sanctification – the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. That is why we can never take a break or slowdown in following Jesus. There is always more to become.

This process of becoming and growing in faith is so important because it is an act of caring and cognition – how we live matters. If everyone just goes to heaven, then why Church, why prayer, why the sacraments, why do anything good, why care. If I’m going there anyway nothing really matters. Yes, how we live, how faithful we are matters. How we place our trust in the Father, how we follow the Son’s gospel path and become more like Him, and how we live out the promptings of the Holy Spirit in Strength of Faith one-hundred-percent matters.

Indeed, something happens when we die. We do not just disappear.

The Church, throughout is history, has come up with different theories about what happens after death. At one time, it was thought that the soul did not actually leave the earth for three days – thus one of the purpose of wakes and the funeral on the third day, as well as the Absolution of the Dead. 

Rome placed its bets on the idea of Purgatory, a place of purification – imagine a car with a whole bunch of souls saying – are we there yet? The suffering that leads to purification is achieved in the waiting, in the expectation of desire and longing. The important thing here is the theme of waiting.

The Orthodox do not have any one theory, instead stating that anything we think about the afterlife is ‘speculative theology,’ a theology that tries to define the future by what we do know about God. For this reason, in Orthodoxy, there is diversity in the teachings on what happens after death. This diversity is perfectly okay because attempts at explanation are feeble before the mystery of God. Key concepts are that the soul has awareness, does not lose it identity, and awaits the resurrection of the body because, like Jesus, both body and soul are equally important. Note again the theme of waiting.

There is quite a bit of diversity of thought about what happens immediately after death among Protestants. Most believe that we retain our unique identities after death. Some denominations believe the soul goes immediately to be with Christ in heaven, awaiting the Day of Judgment and a resurrected body. This echoes Paul – but remember that Paul was speaking to Christian communities that were living out their faith deeply and wholeheartedly, often to the point of sacrificial loss. Other Protestants suggest there is an intermediate time of “soul sleep,” an unconscious waiting for the resurrection.

Do the dead go to Sheol – the Jewish concept of a holding tank for souls? No, for Christ emptied that place following His death on the cross.

Further, for our study, Christianity never has taught reincarnation. There is no return trip. While fanciful, it is totally against scripture. Our lives are a what you see is what you get matter.

So why do we pray for the dead, and what is today’s Observance all about?

The Latin phrase Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi literally means “the rule of prayer [is] the rule of belief.” More simply said, we pray what we believe. We pray for the departed based on scriptural instruction and most importantly because of the mystery of the afterlife. We pray for the dead because we believe they need our prayer in a period of waiting.

In the Book of Maccabees (2 Maccabees 12:39-46), Judas Maccabee takes up a collection so prayers will be said for some of his soldiers that had died. Factually, the soldiers were being faithful in fighting for Israel, while at the same time they were unfaithful; their dead bodies were found to be holding idols of false gods. 

And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought Him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten… And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection… It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

We pray because God left us an instruction to do so in Scripture. We pray because we do not know. We pray through the mystery of God, seeking His mercy for our departed loved ones in a time of waiting. Can those not perfectly pure enter heaven by our prayer? Can their sins be forgiven? Is there a place and time of waiting? Our prayer says that is true, and as such we pray and we offer Holy Masses for our departed loved ones, making up by our actions where they had fallen short in life.

This day, in the end, calls us not just to prayer for the dearly departed, but also to an honest evaluation of our own spiritual state, to measure where we are on the road, and toward what destination so that by living genuinely Christian lives and following Jesus’ gospel path more closely we may reduce any time we need to wait in getting there.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

This month, in our years long discipleship study and journey, we are asked to pray both Psalm 42 and 121. Both of these Psalms pose longing and a response to longing. In each, the psalmist realizes that their hope is in God, that help comes from God. The introductory verse to Psalm 42 above is answered: Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. I can meet God by placing my hope in Him and trusting in Him. Our God is a saving God, not a punishing god. Can you imaging being as desirous as a deer in search of clear, cool, running water. The animal, parched with thirst happens upon that exact stream of water and is overjoyed in finding it and drinks deeply. So it is in our heart’s inner desire and need for God. Desire for God may seem more pronounced in difficult times, when we need extreme help for extreme troubles, but truthfully, that longing is always there. Our souls desire unity with God, for He is their source. They want Him for He is their refreshment. The cool, clear, running water of His grace is their answer, and we all seek to drink deeply of that grace. So, how do we do it. How do we find that water and drink of it? How do we meet God? We start by following Jesus’ gospel path. We do the things He said we must do. We live out the beatitudes and the rules from the Sermon on the Mount. We serve and sacrifice. To be a disciple means we live and love our Master’s instruction. Hard, yes. Impossible, no. From there we live in community. We live and worship as one family. This is the God designed, Jesus taught, Holy Spirit infused way we are to go. The cool, clear, running water of grace is found by those who do exactly this. As we follow Jesus’ gospel path He infuses us, through the Holy Spirit, with His grace. We receive actual help from on-high. As we live and worship as family we open the door to grace to others and support each other with that strength from on-high. We lift each other to that fountain of grace and in doing so our longing is answered.

Welcome to our October 2021 Newsletter. This month’s newsletter is filled with information about important events in the life of the parish: our centennial celebration; blessing of pets; healing; the rosary; family; the upcoming observance of All Souls; our discipleship focus on St. Teresa of Avila; and Ten Biblical Reminders for encouragement. We also pause to remember three beloved men who passed into eternal life.

Please come out to join us as we pray mightily, receive the sacraments, learn from the Word, and celebrate.

Check out all this and more in our October 2021 Newsletter.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

I have a box. For those who get to church early enough or stay late enough, for the past two years you have seen me walking in and out of church with an old broken down box. The box is my briefcase of sorts. My family often comments: Why don’t you get rid of that old box and just get a briefcase? I don’t say much. I like my box.

This month’s scripture, taken from Matthew 6:33 reminds us of priorities – what comes first, what is most important: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

The box is a reminder to me of what we are celebrating this year, and in a special way how we will begin the month of October. One-hundred years ago people in Schenectady packed bags and boxes. They did not have much. They tread on foot to the corner of Raymond and Van Vranken to build a new church. This would be a church providing them the freedom to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Not long before this momentous event in 1921, these very same people packed boxes and bags and trunks to emigrate to the United States. They sought a better life and the opportunity to add good things to their lives – the dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What is worthy of not just celebration, but also emulation, is that these founders did not separate or compartmentalize seeking the kingdom, righteousness, and a better life. They saw them as God’s way-of-life. They listened to what St. James pointed out: Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God (James 1:17). As we celebrate the centennial of our wonderful parish, as we reflect on the good gifts we have received, let us remember those bags, boxes, and trunks. Let us recall that the search for truth and the achievement of victory took work and struggle. Most importantly, may we too live seeking what is important first, and all these things will be added to us.


Welcome to our September 2021 Newsletter. We are one-month away from our grand centennial celebration and September holds a wide variety of worship events leading up to this momentous occasion. Check out the October 1st through 3rd centennial schedule. In September we celebrate Labor Day, Brotherly Love Sunday, and Back to Church Sunday (who will you invite?). We commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11/2001. We reflect on our summer events and the great things accomplished in our parish, including astounding generosity. Ready for coffee hour? It’s back starting September 12th. Ready for daily Holy Masses? They are returning to parish life. Pray in advance of our Diocesan Synod and reflect on walking with God and each other.

All that we do, all accomplished, a future filled with hope is by God’s good grace and YOUR love and commitment. Thank you!

Check out all this and more here in our September 2021 Newsletter.

Working to change.

In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, He offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and He was heard because of his reverence.

So far in Lent we have focused on the change and reform necessary in our lives. We have been focusing on the various Lenten disciplines, the means and methods by which we achieve conversion, change and reform. These disciplines help us become more ardent and faithful livers of Jesus’s gospel way.

The subjects of fasting, sacrifice (or giving), and study have been covered thus far. Next week we continue with the consideration of proclamation. Today, we focus on prayer.

This year we study from the Gospel according to St. Mark. In the first chapter of that Gospel, we hear that Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Prayer was a regular part of Jesus’ life. In Mark 11 we hear of Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple: ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.’ In the same chapter Jesus reminded His disciples of the power of faithful and right prayer: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Jesus’ time on earth was a time of “prayers and petitions.” These two words portray a life of constant and persistent supplication. Not only did Jesus pray constantly and persistently, He prayed fervently. “Fervent cries” could also be translated “loud crying” or even “powerful shouts.” It makes us think of Jesus in Gethsemane, where He was “very sorrowful even to death”: And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And He said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray…” And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and prayed.

Yet all this still does not exhaust the agonizing depth of Jesus’ prayers, for He prayed “with tears.” Jesus sobbed as He prayed. He threw Himself completely into prayer.

Jesus knew every facet of human suffering. He groaned under the depth of it. Through all this agony, Jesus learned something: He learned what it was like to obey as a suffering human in a fallen world and for that faith He was heard.

We are called to the same constant discipline of prayer that Jesus lived. Our prayer must be faithful and right. Our prayer must not be limited. Our prayer, heartfelt even when it groans without words, must call out to God. With prayer, like Jesus, we learn and are given just what we need to endure and cross into glory.